Beckham Estate Vineyard: Amphorae for a New Age

amphoraeIn ancient times, large clay amphorae were the aging vessels of choice for wine.

Now, Andrew Beckham has brought that tradition back to life, using amphorae that he sculpts himself to age wines at Beckham Estate Vineyard in Sherwood, Ore., not far from Portland.

A high school teacher by day — he teaches ceramics at Beaverton High School — Beckham molds each vessel on a standard potter’s wheel, a process that takes two weeks.

His 40 to 60-gallon jars weigh 250 pounds when wet. He allows three months for drying, and 40 hours for firing.

The Beckham Estate Vineyard’s tasting room also serves as a gallery for Beckham’s ceramic art.

You can read the full story of Beckham’s amphorae, and view some of his outstanding work, here. Click on the image above for a video showing how it’s done.

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Posted in Wineries of Distinction
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